Welcome to the Woodstock - Preservation Archives
Dedicated to the Historic Preservation of the Site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival

Hurd & West Shore Rds
Sullivan County
Bethel  NY



Arts venue for site of Woodstock

Building work has begun on a multi-million dollar arts venue on the site of the world-famous 1969 Woodstock music festival near New York.

The $63m (£33.8m) venue, the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, will feature a 4,500-seat amphitheatre and space for another 12,000 on the lawn.

It is the first permanent structure on the festival site.

The decision to build on the site has been met with criticism by the Woodstock Preservation Alliance.

"There are so many people upset about this move. We still support the arts centre and what it may do for Sullivan County," the Alliance's Brad Littleproud said.

"However, the Gerry Foundation has been given carte blanche to interpret and desecrate an icon to a generation."

The 1969 festival, touted as a celebration of "peace, love and music", featured some of the biggest names in Sixties rock, including the Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, The Who and The Band.

'Community project'

An estimated 400,000 people saw the concert, which was celebrated with a three-hour documentary film.

Other festivals were held on the site in 1994 and in 1999.

Construction crew have spent the last month moving earth from the site, on a hillside overlooking where the festival's main stage had been. An opening ceremony was held on Monday.

Yasgur's old farm is now owned by a non-profit organisation, the Gerry Foundation, which is financed by Alan Gerry, a millionaire businessman who bought the 37-acre (14.8 hectare) site in 1997.

He later bought another 1,300 acres (520 hectares) surrounding the site.

"This is truly a community project," Mr Gerry said on Monday at the opening ceremony.


Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2004/07/20 09:31:23 GMT